Sunday, July 27, 2014

Circular Logic

The draw and appeal of LBB D&D is undeniable to me. Every single time I read a post from Delta's D&D Hotspot or any of the other old schoolers I read regularly I want to put everything else on the bookshelf and never look back. In fact, I seriously considered doing that this past week.

I was reading the new rules booklet in the Starter Set. It occurred to me that I really don't enjoy reading rules that much anymore. I think the problem is with patience. A lot of rules these days are written to be very friendly. I get this. Our hobby needs new blood, plus it is not populated merely by people that get off on reading rules. I prefer rules that are written in a conversational, yet very straight-forward manner. Delving Deeper and Lamentations of the Flame Princess are two examples, though they have quite dissimilar "voices". One of the reasons I never really make the leap with Alternity is the excessively nurturing writing.

But, I digress. So, I had decided to just pass on 5E, even though I really like its direction, because I just want to stick with something I've been intimately familiar with for almost 40 years. No muss, no worries. No rules that are almost like they used to be, but you need to read them again like you've never read them before, lest you miss a significant detail. OK, good, so that's what I'll do. I think, though, I'll incorporate some house rules I've been knocking around a while now. Such as:

  • This one which makes each of the four main classes the "starting point" for what your character will ultimately become
  • All my many ideas for making fighters Fighters
  • My ideas for bringing some variety to magic-users, including such things as increasing spell efficacy based on ability, forcing mages to be more focused, and making them more combat-survivable
Plus, I do like the way 5E handles Feats (at least in the playtest) and I like the idea of Advantage/Disadvantage.

It then became evident to me that all my house rules have been implemented into 5E to some degree or another. That, along with the things I would drop into any old school house tules I cook up, brought me full circle. Honestly, I don't like house rule documents all that much. I love cooking them up, but at the table, I think it can be a pain to get everyone on the same page (pardon the pun). Plus, for me, I have an easier time trusting a DM (and claiming DM authority) when working as closely as possible with the RAW. Personal limitation, I suppose, but there it is.

The final solution here, which is probably obvious, is for me to stop reading the Starter Set rules document. It is specifically targeted at people that need their hands held by a friendly presentation. Moving forward, I'll be sticking to the Basic pdf for my rules needs. At least until the Big Three drop. After that, all bets are off.

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